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Flybrian

2009 Jeep JT Concept in depth

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2009 Jeep JT Concept
This Skunkworks project could be the only way to get a pickup back in the Jeep lineup
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July 11, 2007 | BY ALISA PRIDDLE | Link to Original Article @ Car & Driver


In the five years of Chrysler’s Mopar skunkworks program, where designers are given carte blanche with existing production vehicles, the biggest idea to make it into mainstream production is the Sky Slider full-length retractable canvas roof on the new 2008 Jeep Liberty. It hailed from the Liberator skunkworks project from almost three years ago.

But the informal group of volunteers at the skunkworks could gain major credibility if the automaker decides to go ahead with the Jeep JT (Jeep truck) concept—a pickup version of the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.

Like all skunkworks projects, the designers were just playing, says Ralph Gilles, vice-president of Jeep and truck design and ringleader for the program. Essentially, the team took an Unlimited, lopped off the second row. and sealed the hole to create a short bed, creating “cool” proportions.

This would be the easiest way to get a pickup back into the Jeep lineup, Gilles admits. Jeep’s pickup history dates back about seven decades and includes such nameplates as Honcho and Jeepster. The last pickup, the Comanche, went out of production in 1992, and the automaker has found it difficult to get a Jeep with a bed back into the lineup ever since.

A Scrambler concept at the 2002 SEMA show got fans riled again, followed by the Gladiator concept pickup at the 2005 Detroit auto show, which was a variant of the Liberty and truly a concept only, Gilles says.

But talk of a production Jeep pickup has ebbed and flowed over the years. And Gilles agrees the JT is a more practical approach. A Jeep pickup is for fun and doesn’t need the size and length of a real pickup such as the Dodge Dakota, Gilles says of the Jeep concept with only a five-foot bed.

The JT exists “because it was so easy to do it,” Gilles says, adding the skunkworks team often builds things to test out an idea, to essentially cash out on a dare. In exploring possibilities, sometimes things emerge as feasible.

Gilles won’t say if Chrysler is doing a business study on the JT as a production model, but he says the concept got a “lotta love” from purists when it made a surprise debut in April at a Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah.

Putting the Jeep JT concept into production would be the first time a customized project has become a real-world vehicle, but Gilles says he expects more of that as projects are considered for the future.

At the skunkworks, Chrysler’s designers, most of whom are enthusiasts, have competitions with sketches. The winning drawings are produced, with all work done in-house, and the winning designer becomes the project leader. It is up to the leader to become a networking genius as well, to wheel and deal with other departments, to talk to people in the metal, paint, plastic, and wood shops to supply what the car needs. Everything is on a volunteer basis, and the reward is to take the creation to SEMA in Las Vegas.

Meanwhile, another Jeep concept, the Trailhawk, shows the kinds of extremes—and lengths—to which a Wrangler can go design-wise. The concept was not designed to replace an existing vehicle in the Jeep lineup, but its visuals could influence future Jeeps, according to Gilles.
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I always wanted to own a Jeep. If they made this, it would be the 1st Non-GM vehicle I ever bought.

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Just do it already!! I mean how long are we going to have to wait for the Hummer H4 anyway??!!!! If Jeep comes out with this I may have to jump ship because this will only give Jeep more of an upper hand. If what I have heard going into late 07/08 they will have a diesel in the Wrangler lineup which will make me want a Wrangler even more!

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Some more pics!

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Do you remember the Jeep Scrambler?

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Edited by Pontiac Custom-S
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I parted ways with my 02 Jeep TJ a few years ago :( when my job required me to have a truck. . . I this Jeep goes into production befor my lease expires in 09, That'll be mine! :ohyeah:

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Needs a bigger box to really be useful... But I do like what I'm seeing.

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˙suıƃıɹo s,ʇı ʇɐ ʞɔɐq pǝʞool sɐɥ dǝǝɾ ǝʞıl sʞool

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This is the only Jeep that I'd really like to have. And I like it just the way it is, plain paint and all.

No-brainer, build it!

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Produce it already.

And if Scrambler is too old hat then call it Comanche. :D

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Build it JEEP.
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Essentially, the team took an Unlimited, lopped off the second row. and sealed the hole to create a short bed, creating “cool” proportions.

I swer this info is wrong. The JT Concept has been featured in plenty of magazines in the last month or two, one of which was the Jeep enthusiasts magazine. If my memory is working correctly, I thought that this was a truck that was already being produced for the Egyptian Army and that's why the bed looks "production-ready". Again, I could be mistaken, but that's what I remember reading.

And the Jeep Wrangler has been the #1 non-GM vehicle on my radar for a long time. When Hummer showed the H3T concept, I thought I'd finally be able to get what I wanted in a Jeep Wrangler (pickup), but from a GM brand. That was 3 years ago and the H3T is nowhere near getting the greenlight for production. If the JT is made, I fear I will have to abandon GM (and Hummer if a H4 is ever going to make it) and own my first non-GM vehicle.

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I swer this info is wrong. The JT Concept has been featured in plenty of magazines in the last month or two, one of which was the Jeep enthusiasts magazine. If my memory is working correctly, I thought that this was a truck that was already being produced for the Egyptian Army and that's why the bed looks "production-ready". Again, I could be mistaken, but that's what I remember reading.

AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) has been making the Brute for some time now. Maybe the Egyptian Army has been buying those.

The Brute is a conversion built on the previous platform:

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